beIN SPORT Acquires US Rights to League Cup and Football League Championship

Up until this week, the forthcoming launch of the new soccer channel beIN SPORT had little relevance to die-hard followers of English football in the United States. All that has changed this week with the news that beIN SPORT has acquired the TV and Internet rights to England’s League Cup tournament as well as Football League Championship.

Beginning with the 2012-13 season, beIN SPORT 1 will broadcast matches from England’s League Cup tournament, now known as the Capital One Cup after the new sponsor replaced Carling. Plus, beIN SPORT 1 will show matches from the nPower Championship, the second division in English football and one of the most competitive and entertaining leagues in Europe.

FOX Soccer previously held the rights to both the League Cup and Championship, but beIN SPORT beat the incumbent to the punch.

beIN SPORT is scheduled to launch in the United States on August 15. Based in Miami, the new soccer network will have two channels — beIN SPORT 1 (for English-language broadcasts) and beIN SPORT 2 (for Spanish-language broadcasts). The challenge, however, will be for the network to sign deals with TV providers between now and the launch date to ensure that soccer fans can watch the TV network in the United States.

Executive Antonio Briceno, an executive at Imagina US — the company that’s handling distribution for beIN SPORT, was asked this week when the beIN SPORT would be available via TV providers in the United States. “Nothing is absolute until it is put to paper, but we continue to negotiate. We’re 99% sure there will be at least one distributor at launch, and two continues to be the goal. And we expect more over time.”

Historically, sports networks in the United States have often sublicensed rights to different leagues, even to competitors. However, in the Multichannel News article, Briceno said the “marching orders” remained the same relative to beIn Sport’s plans “not to sublicense any of the rights to the three major league properties.” He said there might be some flexibility with the additional rights that have been acquired.

While beIN SPORT has been busy negotiating with TV distributors, the soccer network recently hired two familiar soccer aficionados — commentators Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson.

In addition to coverage of the League Cup and Championship, beIN SPORT has acquired the US rights to several major soccer leagues including La Liga, Serie A, Ligue Un, Copa del Rey, Copa Italia, Supercoppa Italia, Copa America, South American World Cup qualifiers, Spain’s second division, Barca TV and Real Madrid TV.

In the article that was published by Multichannel News this week, the publication stated that “Although beIN Sports’ game plan still calls to stream channels to authenticated subscribers, the services will not be available at launch.”

For fans of the Championship, the new season kicks off on Friday, August 17. Round 1 of the Capital One Cup, meanwhile, begins on August 11. However, Premier League clubs don’t participate until Round 2 of the cup competition (the draw for which is scheduled on August 15). The second round matches are typically played in late August.

Speaking of the Premier League, beIN SPORT is expected to participate in the bidding for the US rights to the Premier League for the 2013-2016 seasons when bidding is finalized this autumn.

With time running out before the upcoming new season begins, now is the time for soccer fans — like you — to demand that your TV distributor adds beIN SPORT to your channel guide. The only way to move the needle and get beIN SPORT added sooner is by encouraging your TV provider by phone or Twitter to add the network.

Here are the contact details for the different TV providers, listed on the beIN SPORT USA website.

47 thoughts on “beIN SPORT Acquires US Rights to League Cup and Football League Championship”

  1. I was just going to subscribe to Fox Soccer Plus for the Championship and SPL. But after reading this I might change my mind. Plus has lost a lot of football to bein sport. $15 a month will not be worth it just for SPL. Will wait to see if Dish picks up the channel.

  2. So GolTV has the rights to just the Bundesliga, correct? I’m a fan of beIN if it’s available to many different providers come sometime this month. I’d rather have it included in sports packs rather than pay $15 for FS+. I am sick, however, of the constant uncertainty that surrounds many leagues every off-season.

    1. David, unfortunately it’s part of the business. The same applies to the UK where they have a brand-new TV network called BT which will be launching their own network in the UK.

      No one has BT, and BT has won a portion of the Premier League matches beginning with the 2013-14 season.

      The Gaffer

      1. You’re absolutely correct, Gaffer. Just very frustrating! Still curious to see where the Bundesliga winds up. Probably my 2nd favorite league to watch besides the PL, of course.

        Also, I called and emailed DirecTV to request that they add beIN Sport and this was my response:

        “Thank you for writing about the beIN Sport soccer channel. I understand that you are an avid soccer fan.

        We currently do not have plans to broadcast beIN Sport channel. While we are unable to comment on upcoming programming decisions, I can assure you that we are always reviewing our programming options to make sure we bring you the best possible TV experience.

        We value your programming interest so I have forwarded your request to DIRECTV management. Many of the decisions we make are direct results of the comments and suggestions we receive from our customers. We release a statement to the press whenever we add channels to our lineup.

        Please visit our website for the latest updates.

        We look forward to providing you excellent service for the years to come.”

  3. Seriously? Buying up more with no distribution in place?

    Outside of the EPL and CL, this is gonna be a sad year for US soccer fans.

    1. It’s going to be a year of change, but I wouldn’t call it a sad year. The power is in our hands to start bugging our TV provider to request that they add this new channel.

      If we say or do nothing, then we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

      The Gaffer

      1. Is that true? If Dish doesn’t pick up beinSports because football isn’t a big draw and many people aren’t clamoring over it, not exactly our fault for beinSports taking the broadcast rights to Championship and the *Insert Sponser* League Cup from Fox. Even if Dish does pick it up, that doesn’t mean it’ll be available like it was, for the price I was already paying. Competition doesn’t always equate that the consumer is best off.

        Of course, the unknown is always the most difficult part of these changes.

        1. It’s a two way street. beIN SPORT has been talking to the distributors and TV providers to negotiate to get the channels added. But, at the same time, the TV providers want to know whether there’s enough demand out there for the channel. beIN SPORT has done the leg work in getting talks underway, but it’s now up to us to demand that the TV distributors add the channel.

          You’re right. The unknown is difficult at this point. What we do know is that the level of production and quality shown by beIN SPORT overseas has been spectacular. They’re soccer people launching a soccer network, so they know the game.

          The Gaffer

  4. Shoot! I have to have access to the League Cup. It’s probably the only one Liverpool has a shot at this year. :^(

    In other news… this seems to be a lot of football to carry on a single English channel.

    The other interesting note is that streaming would be made available to subscribers, when such service is ready. This is indeed an improvement from the FS+ model of pay twice.

    If they get the EPL, they’ll have to add another channel, I’d think. You simply can’t stuff that much live content into a single channel.

  5. Don’t think I’m going to go beat down any doors over this, although I’m glad I don’t pay extra for FS+. Off hand I’d guess they’re trying to get Dish and DirecTV as that would give them immediate nationwide impact. As we have seen with FS HD the cable companies can take forever…and then some… to go nationwide.

    1. True, but it’d be good to have the choice of being able to watch nPower Championship, La Liga and League Cup games. Without beIN SPORT on our TV provider, we won’t be able to watch any of those unless people start bugging their distributors asking for the network.

      The Gaffer

  6. Why do the leagues sell the rights to a company like BeIn when they don’t have in place access to the markets yet? It’s all about money with no regard for the fans whatsoever.

  7. I don’t know what the distribution deals are for GolTV but either BeInSports is about to buy them (they are already buying their properties [and Fox’s] except South American football and Germany and their talent) or simply assume they’ll simply kill off GolTV by attrition and then take their place on various cable and satellite providers.

    In any case, GolTV’s days are clearly numbered unless they let themselves be bought at a discount.

    What will be interesting is what NewsCorp is going to do to fight them off, they need soccer to feed their Champions League and ESPECIALLY their World Cup deals in 2018 and 2022 on the networks they are trying to not just maintain but build.

    1. No details have been released yet. They do plan on having Internet streaming, but whether it’ll be part of a separate product or not hasn’t been announced.

      In the meantime, I would recommend contacting your TV distributor to request the channel (more details are in the last paragraph of the article).

      The Gaffer

        1. I love Roku, but you must be missing a lot of Premier League matches if you only have that one device.

          The Gaffer

    2. I hate to hear this and I hate how there are so many different carriers getting rights. I don’t have cable and don’t have satellite because the month cost is outrageous when all I want is soccer. All I have is Fox Soccer 2Go (subscribed today).

      I wish I could go to one network or just micro transaction the games I want. All this does is drive me to look for other streaming options.


  8. When GolTV is gone, Knology won’t offer a single soccer channel. WORST CABLE COMPANY EVER.
    Glad I switched to Comcast, & hope they add this to their sports pack.

  9. GolTV is essentially useless now….I like the Bundesliga, but they treated it like crap for the past few seasons, tape delay games and only a 30-minute highlight show.

    Their announcers also suck, I was watching the Under-19 Euros and those guys were struggling big time and had “rooting interests” in Spain so bad

    1. GolTV is getting worse and worse. During a Newcastle United preseason game a few weeks ago, they went to commercial, came back and totally missed the goal that was scored. They said they’d show the goal, but never did.

      The Gaffer

  10. Oh, just lovely. A channel associated with Al-Jazeera is now your outlet for the Championship. I myself could care less either way about Al-Jazeera, but how many cable systems in the US are going to pick this up? The wingnut complaint letters just write themselves here.

    Too bad, because I think the Championship will be even more entertaining this year than it usually is.


  11. With nPower and the Capital One Cup gone, FoxSoccer2Go has been significantly devalued for me. I haven’t paid their too expensive fee in the past, and there is no way I will even remotely consider it now. Fox will have to cut the price significantly for me to consider 2Go…Fox Soccer Plus is in the same boat. In my opinion, Fox has lost a lot of its soccer leverage in the US.

    Also, for me, Ray Hudson going to Al-Jazeera is just as good as “jamming” the channel. I cannot stand to listen to him. Maybe they will also lure Arlo White….one can only hope.

  12. Already tweeted and emailed Charter, but it will do no good I am sure.
    Just hope they put together a decent internet system to make sure people can get it even if their TV provider doesn’t carry them.

  13. The Invitaiton to Tender (ITT) for U.S. and Canadian rights to EPL will be out in September. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy this time so that I can read the entire thing myself.

    My best guess right now based on available info: either beIN SPORT LLC has already convinced ESPN, Inc. to switch sides to support its bid for U.S. rights to EPL instead of the FOX Sports Media Group bid, or beIN SPORT LLC is stubborn and arrogant enough to believe that it will NOT need to partner with an established U.S. media company that meets minimum household clearance requirements in order for its bid to meet all stipulations in the ITT.

    As for Canada: the pressure is on for TeleLatino to cut a deal with beIN SPORT LLC to rebrand EuroWorld Sport (EWS) into beIN SPORT 1 Canada by no later than August 31. Otherwise, EWS will have no programming whatsoever. EWS will air FOX Soccer Report around the clock starting August 5 at 10pm ET but must stop doing so as of September 1 at no later than 9pm ET.

  14. I am just puzzled by Beinsport USA’s strategy and lack of professionalism.

    As a comparison, Beinsport France launched, as scheduled, right in time for the EURO 2012, while being able to strike deals with a dozen providers (satellite, ADSL, cables). They even reached an agreement with Canal Satellite to carry their channels, whereas Bein basically stole most of the rights from them. (Ligue 1, Serie A, Liga, Champion’s League)

    Beinsport France was launched before a main sport event, euro 2012, and it was a complete success. I am not even talking about their amazing current coverage of the Olympics.

    Bein USA only has to focus on three leagues and they can’t even get the job done. What went wrong here? Is the US market so much more different and more competitive that the French one? I doubt it.

    Being a huge fan of PSG and living in the US, I can’t believe that Beinsport USA will not be ready for the kickoff of Ligue 1 on August 11. What’s the point for QSI to spend millions to buy players and build a “dream team” (according to Ibrahimovic) if their own network is not ready to broadcast PSG’s games in the US?

    All I was hoping for was the equivalent of Fox Soccer 2 GO to follow my team every week. And for this I am willing to pay 20 bucks a month as I was doing with Fox. Extremely disappointing.

    I wish I could subscribe to Beinsport France….. from the US!

    1. The European TV market is completely different than the US. It’s much easier for new TV networks to get their channel on UK, French or other European TV. Setanta was able to launch in the UK with ease. Setanta, in the US, took years to try to get their channel on US TV providers before they went out of business in the States (and still, even then, they weren’t available on most cable providers).

      beIN SPORT has only been in business for less than 9 months in the United States. They didn’t have the advantage of a longer head start like beIN SPORT France had.

      The Gaffer

  15. I really do not like the fact that beinsports will not have an online version as o August 15. They have an aljeezira platform working fine in the middle east. What is the big problem to use the same for the us?

  16. One thing that was so cool these last years was being able to watch espn. Goltv, fox etc and watch many games over the week live. There is no way live games can be shown all at once on one channel. The nfl does not do that and the nfl is the best live sports for tv on the planet. The world of soccer has been learning from the nfl. With the proliferation of satellite, pay per view, cable access etc now people all over World can watch la Liga or the bundeliga etc.
    The nfl always does its deals first and of course over the air broadcasts are regionally based so that you see your home team on the road but the rest of the country may not. Very different than watching barca or real Madrid. They never play at the same time it seems but everyone wants to watch them. But LaLiga does not schedule itself around the bundeliga or epl. Ther will be scheduling issues with only one channel.

    My guess is goltv becomes a partner, espn may get some overflow while bein has he best game.
    Something has to win the works.

  17. Sorry – last sentence should read that something must be in the works. Goltv will be a partner, espn and fox getting over flow while bein gets the top match

  18. The difference between BeIN France and US is that in France, it is much easier to build a team to make the channel run. Whether its commentators, studio analysts or even production crew. Look at it this way, if NBA games went to Fox only, they could easily grab prior staff and be able to include new people to help cover the league. Who is there in the US that could cover the various European soccer leagues?

    Also, in Europe, all you need is to buy satellite frequency that is not controlled by the cable providers. Much easier to launch channels compared to having cable companies in the US agree to let you on their network

    I am not worried if BeIN will make it to all cable providers. Al Jazeera will not be stingy in that aspect. As long as they have a good enough technical staff, they will make sure to be available to everyone.

    Al Jazeera has 10 channels that cover every league in the world except EPL and Bundesliga,World Cup, Euro Cup, Copa America, CL, Europa League, all world cup and euro qualifers, ESPN, ESPN America (basically ESPN 2) ESPN Classic (European), NBA TV, Fox Sports and they only charge you $112 a year. Thats a one time fee for everything you’d ever want to see that you pay monthly in the states.

    So I am to believe that they will make sure BeIN is accessible to everyone and pony up to the networks and then eventually take more competitions and control the soccer rights in the states. It will take some time but I will be surprised if they dont do it.

  19. I want to know who the idiot is at the Football League who sold the rights!

    The Championship is the 3rd most watched league in the world, and instead of showing its opening game they are showing a Spanish friendly!


    And as for not getting the distribution sorted before the rights were sold… Shouldn’t that be part of their contract? That they have to be able to broadcast the games?

  20. OK beIN sports launches tonight at 8 pm and their website still has not listed any carriers yet. Is it really possible they are launching with none? I assume Dish and Directv would most likely pick it up, but on the site, they are still listed under “call your provider to request” section.

    Having Verizon FIOS myself, I don’t expect to see this channel added anytime soon unfortunately!

    1. I just checked Verizon FiOS … nothing, and if they eventually do, they’ll probably charge as they do for GOL TV.

      The only reason ESPN here gets matches is because European regulations prohibit a monopoly on contracts; Sky Sports had to sell rights to ESPN and ITV. As for the Championship, money talks, as it should for any business … and I doubt it’s the “third most watched league in the world.”

  21. The DirecTV program guide shows beIN on ch. 620, with GOLTV moving to 627. Currently, ch 620 is showing a countdown that indicates a 7:30 pm start time for the beIN channel tonight. Been thinking of dropping FS Plus for a while now, mostly for lack of HD programming…now I can drop it for sure.

  22. HI what about cable vision? I have contacted them all this week end and they have no clue. I guess im going have to switch over to satelite if i can . Can we all get together and email them????

  23. Got BEin Sport on Dish, dropped the now useless FSC+, but yet to see any English footie on Bein. Listings also have no detail on what’s being shown. None of the upcoming mid-week Championship games are listed. Any news?

  24. I’m in the same boat as many on here. I’ve contacted Time Warner Cable to express my interest, but I’m not holding out much hope. If beIN had their act together and were streaming Championship games online, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay them money, but the “Leagues” page on their website doesn’t even make any mention of the Championship at this point.

  25. Was just looking at BEIN Sports website, they do not show any coverage of the Capitol One Cup Round 4 matches next week (29-30 Oct 2013). Did something happen with them and this coverage?

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